James Corden: 'We have to keep talking about Grenfell'

Danny Thompson
Contributor
James Corden, Host, The Late Late Show, participates in a panel discussion during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 30, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

James Corden has condemned the Grenfell cladding scandal live on US television.

The Gavin and Stacey actor used his position as a bona fide American TV star to say ‘nothing will change’ if we stop talking about the Grenfell Tower fire. The 2017 tragedy claimed 72 lives after a kitchen appliance fire in one flat lead to flames rapidly spreading to the entire building - reportedly due to the type of cladding used on the building's exterior.

Smoke continues to rise from the burning 24 storey residential Grenfell Tower block in Latimer Road, West London on June 14, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Filming his US chat-based programme The Late Late Show in London earlier this week, Corden, wearing a green heart badge in memory of the victims said: “We have to keep talking about Grenfell - otherwise nothing will change.

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“It turns out that same kind of cladding that was used at Grenfell is still in use in over 300 high rise and public buildings in Britain, buildings which are occupied primarily by low income families.

“Imagine putting your child to bed in one of those buildings knowing that the only thing that’s keeping another Grenfell from happening is hope, I guess, good luck maybe.

“Now hope and luck is perfectly fine if you’re choosing to make a pavlova for the first time on the Bake Off, but as far as keeping people safe it is shamefully inadequate.”

Corden was inspired to make this opening monologue after seeing a campaign started by newspaper the Daily Mirror. Earlier this month, the Mirror launched its “Grenfell, Never Again” campaign, which demands action, including the removal of dangerous cladding from all buildings and an independent regulator to champion the rights of tenants.

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Talking about the monologue used on the Late Late Show, Corden said to the Mirror: “That whole piece we did about Grenfell, that’s because of the Mirror. I was reading the Mirror and I saw an article you had written.

“It was about the report that came out and it really touched me. I sent it to my producers and said we need to do something.

LOS ANGELES - JUNE 17: James chats with guests, Tom Hanks and Gillian Anderson onThe Late Late Show with James Corden broadcasting from London. Airing June 17th, 2019 (12:37-1:37 AM, ET/PT) (Photo by Craig Sugden/CBS via Getty Images)

“It felt out of place doing it in LA, but because we were coming to London it felt right.

“I’m so glad we did it.”

Corden and pal Ruth Jones recently announced their much loved TV series Gavin and Stacey is to return for a Christmas Day special later this year. A cast read-through will begin on Monday.